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Thread: Request information on the Canon S100.

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    Panama Hat & Camera's Avatar
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    Request information on the Canon S100.

    I'd like to know the opinion of the owners of Canon S100 because I'm thinking of buying one of these cameras. I'd like to know the average time to take two shots in succession, the quality of images and ease of use.
    Antonio.

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    There's a comprehensive review at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons100/

    It's funny, I don't understand how Canon names its cameras....my very first digital camera was a Canon S110, which I bought in 2002. You would think the numbers would go up over time (e.g., the S100 should have come out before the S110), but that isn't the case.

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Canon numbers do go up but apparently also come down becuase my first good digital was an S20, 3.3Mp back around 2001
    The s20 was announce in January 2000 .. the S110 in May 2001 .. the s80 in August 2005 [see dpreview ]

    Then I have a D60 from Feb 2002 and the 60D came out in Aug 2010

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Thanks Brad.

    I'm reading the review that you recommended.

    Antonio.

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Canon is often confusing regarding the numbering of their offerings. Of course, there is the D60 and 60D on opposite ends of the Canon timeline.

    I have a hunch that if I offered my old Canon D60 (which I converted to full time infrared) on eBay that there would be at least one buyer who would think that this was the 60D....

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Hi all,

    Sorry I missed this thread when first posted, as you will see, my views on the S100 are very personal because I'm a long term Nikon user and Canon 'do things differently'

    I have therefore struggled with the camera menus, and using the software (Zoom Browser EX & DPP), probably more than a Canon DSLR user would. Nothing big, just lots of niggles compared to the Nikon View NX2 I am used to.

    Since I bought the Canon S100, I bought a Nikon P510 bridge camera too
    The desire here was to get the 1000mm (equivalent) of telephoto far cheaper, lighter and more versatile than something that fits my D5000. I will compare the two below, not because they are equivalent in anyway, just because they are both not DSLRs.

    In December 2011, I bought the S100 over the Nikon rivals because it was pocketably small (and it does live in my pocket all the time) and because it had RAW capture. It doesn't disappoint on either of these capabilities; image quality of the (in camera corrected) jpgs is very good as are the RAWs if you apply the Lens profile corrections in CS5/ACR, which fix any barrel distortion, lateral CA and vignetting in the shots. IS is good.

    In use, I guess the biggest disappointment is that the lens, although improved a little in range (5x) over the S95 (4x), spanning from 24mm to 120mm (equivalent), still often isn't long enough for me, plus the aperture ramps to f/5.9 at 120mm (from f/2 at 24mm).

    We're all used to lenses that ramp (close down aperture) as we zoom in; a typical kit lens will be say, "f/3.5 - f/5.6", that's a spread of 1.5 stops for a 3x zoom range - but the S100 is about 3.5 stops for the 5x zoom range, meaning that scene you metered at say 1/320s (at f/2) when you switched on drops to 1/40s (at f/5.9) when you zoom in to 120mm
    Add to this that you probably wanted an f/2 DoF and now everything is in focus due to the much wider DoF at f/5.9 (and small sensor), making it useless for 'head & shoulders' portaiture at the longer focal length.

    I was also dismayed to find that in macro mode, the lens doesn't actually focus any closer than normal AF mode (go figure!), it just stops it going out to infinity, presumably to reduce focus time.

    However, life is a compromise - these things are unavoidable attributes of the tiny size camera I wanted, just the compromises are a bit worse than even I expected

    By comparison; the P510's (somewhat bigger) lens is f/3 at 24mm, yet still only drops to f/5.9 at 1000mm, a zoom range of 42x! In macro mode, at the wider angle end only, the P510 does focus closer - I have yet to discover the downside to leaving it permanently in macro mode because it still seems to AF to infinity.

    The lens/image quality of the S100 has proven to be good-excellent, I'm not one to count line/pairs, or 'pixel peep' bricks in a photo of a wall, this is just my gut feeling compared to the Nikon D5000 and its 18-200mm zoom lens when processing RAW images in ACR (used for both).

    From switch on, the S100 is ready to use MUCH quicker than the P510, the latter (feels like it) takes several seconds to be ready, the S100 is ready in less than a second.

    I normally use the S100 in "jpg + RAW" and single shot mode*, so I don't expect rapid fire captures (at a guess, it is about 1 shot every two seconds and requiring a separate shutter press for each). To answer Antonio's question about the time between shots I switched to jpg only, RAW only and jpg+RAW in the Continuous shooting modes*
    In jpg only, you get two shots quickly, then it slows to a more regular rate of better than 1 fps (Large/Fine jpg), RAW isn't too much slower, nor is jpg+RAW - each adds a bit more to the repetition time, as does selecting the AF Continuous (where it re-checks AF between shots) mode.

    * from memory there is a reason why I don't normally use continuous mode, unlike Nikon, in continuous; not all the other features work, I forget now what it is though.

    I do have the P510 in Continuous mode and since it only shoots jpg (no RAW sadly), it is very quick to capture action as it develops, once it has that initial focus lock.

    The P510 has an VERY annoying habit (at 1000mm) of cycling end-to-end when you want to be taking a picture, a process that takes about two seconds. By contrast, the S100's AF is far more responsive and able to work in low light.

    The S100 has far more creative options, at 24mm the lens can be set in Av between f/2 and f/8, this obviously falls to a limited choice of f/5.9 to f/8 at 120mm though. The S100 aperture values selectable are in standard photographic third stop increments, unlike the P510 which has f-numbers set at; 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 4.2, 4.7, 5.3, 5.9, 6.6, 7.4 and 8.3 - this doesn't matter, but it is just odd!

    When I first got the S100, I soon found myself shooting a lot at 24mm, because it's wider than my DSLR goes and it is where the lens has most versatility - however, I fould the lack of a tiltable LCD a creative limitation as I'm not agile these days, so low angle shots were composed on the 'point and pray' method, then re-shoot having seen the results.

    Now I have the P510, which has a tiltable LCD and also goes to 24mm, I'm happy with that - and wanting to by a UWA lens for the D5000 Again though, this is a compromise for the small size that lets me carry the S100 where-ever I go, unlike the P510.

    Well, that's the longer version of how I find the S100, these are the things I have found to be important to me, but do ask more specific questions if you have any query and I'll do my best to answer on either the S100 or P510.

    I'm not sure if it's just me being thick, or a Nikon user, but I did actually have to buy a book to help with the using Canon S100, it tells you why certain features you know you've used before don't work today (e.g. because there's a letter "d" in "Monday") - are all Canon's like this?

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 6th August 2012 at 04:35 PM.

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    I have just significantly expanded the views I gave at 09:15 this morning. This covers both the S100 and Nikon P510.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Hi Anthony,

    One subsequent thought relating to this bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    In jpg only, you get two shots quickly, then it slows to a more regular rate of better than 1 fps (Large/Fine jpg), RAW isn't too much slower, nor is jpg+RAW - each adds a bit more to the repetition time, as does selecting the AF Continuous (where it re-checks AF between shots) mode.
    In the S100, I use a 4MB Sandisk Extreme III (30MB/s "C6") memory card, which may be relevant to the performance I get.
    I use the slower 8MB Sandisk Ultra II (15MB/s "C2") in my other cameras. This choice was only because I have the one odd smaller, faster card and keeping it separate in the S100 solves two problems in one.

    What were you thinking of shooting that needs a rapid shooting rate?
    I ask because whatever it is, there may be other aspects of the design that make it less suitable than a DSLR or bigger bridge camera like the P510.


    By the way, you may have read the S100 has an "ND" filter and wondered if it is useful, well I have used it a couple of times, for example, today I used it to get a slower shutter speed on a waterfall; exposure at iso80 and f/8, it was 0.1 seconds, using the ND changed this to 0.8 seconds and gave a much better "silky look" to the splashing water.

    I am quite glad your question 'forced' me to use the S100 alongside the P510 today, it is a more creative camera in many ways, but the P510 is good for what I got it for too. Just that remembering which button to press on three different cameras for say, accessing exposure compensation, really 'does my head in'

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 7th August 2012 at 12:20 AM.

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Dave,
    Thank you very much for your information.
    For your replies, I see that you are an enthusiast of Nikon cameras. I am too. I photograph for a long time (I have an Olympus OM-2 SLR with 4 Zuiko lenses) and 90% of the pictures that are on the books of photography that I have were taken with Nikon cameras.
    But even so, I think of buying a Canon S100, because I don't know other camera so small that has the same characteristics as it [manual controls, 24 mm wide angle, large aperture f 2.0 (even decreasing rapidly with the zoom), quick response].
    I am thinking of purchasing a Canon S100, a Nikon P500 (or P510) and maybe a Nikon D5100. But not all at once, because I'm not rich.
    Although not a fan of Canon (but I have nothing against it), I can think about purchasing a Canon S100, an SX40 and perhaps a 600D (the reason for this choice would be to have cameras with similar controls).
    I wrote "and maybe a (DSLR)" because I do not know if I still want to carry a camera and various lenses.
    But, let's see: one of my friends will buy a Nikon D5100 and if I get too excited I might buy one for me.
    At the moment, I have a super zoom Kodak Z990 that takes good pictures, but is very very slow and a Nikon L20 (just point and shoot), which was bought in an emergency situation, during a trip to Buenos Aires, when my Sony crashed.

    But I've written a lot about me. Let's go to the questions:

    About Canon S100:
    How the camera informs the focal length that is being used?
    The auto focus works fast?
    The S100 shoots well in low light situations?
    What is the speed class of the SD card you use?
    In single shoot mode (a separate shutter press for each picture), using jpg, can I shoot 20 to 30 photos (1 shot per second) without the freezing of the camera at the end of the section (the time for recording the photos in the SD card)?
    The Canon S100 is always available for shooting one second after the last shot in jpg?

    About Nikon P500
    How the camera informs the focal length that is being used?
    In good light conditions, the auto focus works fast?
    How is the image in the viewfinder? In Kodak Z990, the image is a little dark and colours aren't good.
    What is the speed class of the SD card you use?
    In single shoot mode (a separate shutter press for each picture), using jpg, can I shoot 20 to 30 photos (1 shot per second) without the freezing of the camera at the end of the section (the time for recording the photos in the SD card)?
    The Nikon P510 is always available for shooting one second after the last shot in jpg?

    In advance thank you for your help (and I apologize for my bad English).

    Regards,
    Antonio.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Hi Antonio,

    Your questions bold italic, my answers below each.

    About Canon S100:
    How the camera informs the focal length that is being used?
    Bargraph on LCD, only visible while you zoom and for about a second after - sadly, there is no numerical focal length information visible even when you review the shot in playback mode. If you view a file on a computer and look at the focal length data, it shows true lens focal lengths between 5.2mm and 26mm, so you have to multiply these by the crop factor (about 4.6) to get numbers we are used to.

    The auto focus works fast?
    In general, Yes I am happy with AF speed, but I use a single movable point, I don't have any cleverness enabled (e.g. Face detect or target find, etc.)

    The S100 shoots well in low light situations?
    Have a look at the images in Week 10 of my P52 thread, I would say it is as good/bad as I expected, given the small sensor, fortunately, since it does RAW capture, you can PP away most of the problems, as I hope my link shows.

    What is the speed class of the SD card you use?
    Answered above as "C6", which I assume is Class 6

    In single shoot mode (a separate shutter press for each picture), using jpg, can I shoot 20 to 30 photos (1 shot per second) without the freezing of the camera at the end of the section (the time for recording the photos in the SD card)?
    I just tried this, I set it to single shot and shot as many images (through a window), varying focus between the window 'leaded light' and the grass or bird feeders out side between shots and got 21 shots off in one minute. There was no slowing or lock up, I could have continued. I was aware that the 3 second LCD preview for each shot was slowing me down a bit even though I was not waiting until it went away, a half press immediately goes to shooting mode. So I turned that off and saw how many I could change view, focus and shoot around the bedroom in 30 seconds - the answer was 15. Again, no indication that it was going to 'back up' and freeze, I'm sure I could havce done it until the battery went flat or SD card was full.
    Obviously, the shutter speed in use also has a bearing on shooting rate, mine were between 1/125 and 1/250 for these tests and I did 'recompose' the shots around the room to give a more real world test than firing the same shot over and over.

    The Canon S100 is always available for shooting one second after the last shot in jpg?
    Yes, even after a burst of several shots in continuous, a new shot is possible within a second.
    In single shot mode, no, for real world use more like once every two seconds is sustainable, but I really didn't find it a chore, it takes that long for me to assess the composition, focus and exposure are correct anyway. I then did a test on Continuous mode, I held the button down and shot for 30 seconds, as mentioned in first reply, the first two are very close together, then followed by a sustained rate of 2 fps - I got 57 shots in 30 seconds and my finger slipped off the button twice as I twisted around the room changing shot. In this mode focus and exposure are set by the first frame. There is another mode; AF-Continuous, so I tried that for 30 seconds, I got 24 shots (I panned between them to change focus distance), note the exposure is still set by first shot though.


    About Nikon P510:
    How the camera informs the focal length that is being used?
    Bargraph on LCD, only visible while you zoom and for about a second after - sadly, there is no numerical focal length information visible even when you review the shot in playback mode. If you view a file on a computer and look at the focal length data, it shows true lens focal lengths between 4.3mm and 180mm, so you have to multiply these by the crop factor (about 5.55) to get numbers we are used to.

    In good light conditions, the auto focus works fast?
    No
    If already in the right area, it might be OK, but 50% of time will do an end-to-end anyway

    How is the image in the viewfinder? In Kodak Z990, the image is a little dark and colours aren't good.
    Good question, the eye level viewfinder quality is quite bad (low resolution and low dynamic range), so I use the tiltable LCD (which is very good), unless I cannot due to ambient light. This despite preferring an eye level viewfinder normally.

    What is the speed class of the SD card you use?
    Answered above as "C2", which I assume is Class 2

    In single shoot mode (a separate shutter press for each picture), using jpg, can I shoot 20 to 30 photos (1 shot per second) without the freezing of the camera at the end of the section (the time for recording the photos in the SD card)?
    Yes, in single shot mode, the camera buffer isn't an issue, the poor AF performance will be. I shot about 20 successive single shots with no memory delay issues, even with a Class 2 card.
    I then tried Continuous High, I got 5 shots within a second, then it froze for about 8 seconds. This should be better with a faster SD card, so I may order one today
    In Continuous Low, I got 1 shot per second (I was shooting the Kitchen clock) for 30 shots before it paused, but I could start another batch almost immediately.

    The Nikon P510 is always available for shooting one second after the last shot in jpg?
    In general, as above; Yes, although I have noticed that it takes considerably longer to write the very first set of files to the SD card after switching the P510 on, than subsequent ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    For your replies, I see that you are an enthusiast of Nikon cameras. I am too
    Oh dear! from this latest reply, it now sounds like I prefer the Canon - it is a better quality camera and no mistake.

    The P510, for a static subject (e.g. a perched bird) is good and apart from subject movement issues, the VR/IS is unbelieveably good, I have 1000mm (FFE) shots at 1/100s, even 1/50s, that really shouldn't be possible handheld, but they are! It is let down by poor AF performance - or did I already say that?
    I wonder if Nikon read this?

    Do remember to factor in the cost of a spare battery with either/both of these cameras, you don't get that much warning of when they're about to die and by time you do, it's too late to change your plans - trying to conserve it by switching off more frequently is probably counter productive as it motors the lens out & in each time (not an issue on a DSLR).

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 7th August 2012 at 11:35 AM.

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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Dave,
    Thank you very much for your replies and tips.
    I believe that is not correct to compare the Nikon P510 with the Canon S100. The P510 (and P500) are superzoom bridge cameras that can be compared with the Canon SX40. They all are good cameras, but that can not be compared with the Canon S100, which I think is a semi-professional camera with very small dimensions.

    I don't need a rapid shooting rate. What happens is that when I used film, the camera was available for an other photo immediately after I have taken a picture (I had not to wait while the image was recorded) and I do not like the big delay of compact digital cameras.

    Initially, I think of buying the S100. Then I will think about the next purchase.
    I totally agree with you about the need for reserve batteries, because they end up when you need them. This is one of the few advantages of my Kodak z990, which uses 4 AA Ni-MH batteries, but can work with 4 alkaline batteries.

    Regards,
    Antonio.

    P. S.
    Today I'm posting my first photo in CiC and would like to get your feedback and the comments of Donald (and of course the comments from other participants of the CiC).

  12. #12
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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Originally Posted by Dave Humphries
    Oh dear! from this latest reply, it now sounds like I prefer the Canon - it is a better quality camera and no mistake.
    Dave,
    I do not want to start endless discussion x Nikon Canon, but because of your experience with the S100, you're thinking that Canon cameras are better than Nikon?
    Antonio.
    Last edited by Panama Hat & Camera; 12th August 2012 at 03:33 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antony View Post
    Dave,
    I do not want to start endless discussion x Nikon Canon, but because of your experience with the S100, you're thinking that Canon cameras are better than Nikon?
    Antonio.
    No, not at all, just that the S100 is a nice, well built little camera with plenty of creative controls that I am just getting used to being able to find in the menus. I don't have access to a Nikon equivalent of this model to compare with.

    Even within a single brand, people tend to love the higher models in the range and disregard the lower models, once they have used both, so no-one can make a sweeping statement that one brand is "better" than the other, different models have different target users and those users will want different features given a higher priority.

    Equally, I have no experience of Canon DSLRs, the Nikon ones are OK and the upper entry level - after 3.5 years use, my Nikon D5000 has one (often used) button that is beginning to be tempermental - but I've never had to clean the sensor for dust bunnies, unlike many Canon users - but that is likely down to the fact that I don't change lenses that often (I have an 18-200mm, not a kit and short telephoto for same range), also I don't live in a dusty region and I'm quick and careful how and when I change lenses, but the D5000 has a sensor dust prevention system, so maybe that's why

    oh and the thumb grip recently came off my Nikon, so perhaps Canon glue is better

    I am pretty sure, having briefly handled the Canon SX40HS and comapring to the Nikon P510, each are as plasticky as the other, so when you compare like with like, the differences are really quite minimal.

    I think it shows that I am not swayed by irrelevant/mis-placed brand loyalty that I chose my camera purchases based on features that are important to me for the use I have for the camera. I would recommend you/anyone use the same method.

    Sure, I have had the inconvenience of the camera menus laid out differently, which I might have avoided if I had bought a smal Nikon P&S rather than the S100.

    One thing that does cause considerable frustration is the software; for import and initial review, Nikon Transfer and Nikon ViewNX2 is streets ahead in usability than Canon's ZoomBrowser EX. That's comparing 'apples with apples' and is a valid opinion, but not a reason to buy one camera over another, unless the differences are otherwise very small (e.g. Nikon P510 over Canon SX40HS)

    Cheers,

  14. #14
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    Re: Request information on the Canon S100.

    Dave,
    Thank you for your reply.
    I think you're right. We must buy cameras that meet our needs, and not be loyal to a particular brand.
    Initially, I will buy a Canon S100.
    Later, I will decide which camera to buy to replace (or complement) the Kodak Z990.
    Sincerely,
    Antonio

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